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Impingement Surgery

As a fellowship trained sports medicine surgeon, Dr. Andrew Pearle has a special interest in treating both athletic and degenerative shoulder conditions. Dr. Pearle has been a team physician for the New York Mets organization for over a decade. Assisting in the care for hundreds of elite throwing athletes from both the major and minor league systems gives Dr. Pearle a unique perspective and expertise on shoulder injuries. Dr. Pearle performs all his surgeries at the Hospital for Special Surgery, the #1 ranked orthopedic center in the country.

Shoulder impingement is a common condition and refers to mechanical compression and/or wear of the rotator cuff tendons. Normally, the rotator cuff tendons glide smoothly below the undersurface of the acromion, the bone at the end of the shoulder. Any process which compromises this normal gliding can lead to mechanical impingement. Common causes include weakening and degeneration within the tendon due to aging, the formation of bone spurs and/or inflammatory tissue within the space above the rotator cuff (subacromial space), and overuse injuries. Overuse activities that can lead to impingement are most commonly seen in tennis players, pitchers, and swimmers.

Impingement surgery is one of the most common procedures performed by Dr. Pearle. The surgery is performed arthroscopically which allows for a rapid return to work and play.

Dr. Pearle feels strongly that patient education is essential for optimal outcome. The video above demonstrates the pathologic condition and surgical technique for impingement surgery (subacromial decompression). If considering surgery, please view the animation. Please also read through the Frequently Asked Questions, Risks, and other related information on the section to the right.

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